Soccerwire Q&A: Louisville assistant talks Jefferson Cup
By Michael Willis
Soccerwire.com got a chance to speak with Louisville Cardinals women’s soccer assistant coach Andrew Quinn about the Division 1 experience, and the benefits of their college. The Louisville Cardinals, located in Kentucky, have a rich, storied tradition of athletic success across the board. Over the past twelve years, the Cardinals are the only NCAA team to win a BCS bowl game in football; to appear in an NCAA Men’s basketball Final Four, a women’s basketball Final Four, a College Baseball World Series, and to finish runner-up in a men’s soccer College Cup.
Quinn, a former Notre Dame and DC United goalkeeper, hails from Washington, D.C. where he attended Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Before accepting the assistant coaching position at Louisville, Quinn also served as an assistant coach on the Harvard women’s soccer staff.
Soccerwire.com: What about Louisville makes it stand out to recruits? What is the draw and appeal of the school?
Andrew Quinn: I think it’s our athletic department. I think we’re on the rise. Our athletic director Tom Dirsch does a great job of supporting athletics. We have a brand new stadium that’s planned to be built, and we think it’s going to be the best stadium in college soccer. We’re moving to the ACC in 2014. I also think we’re the best college sports town in America, because we’re the biggest city in the United States, population-wise, that doesn’t have a professional sports franchise. Our basketball team plays in an NBA arena, and it’s cool for every sport in our athletic department to have their own specific stadium. And [the soccer team is going in the same direction]…So I mean, if you want to be a student-athlete and compete for championships, and go somewhere we’re you’re going to be well supported, if you want the ability to do that the I think Louisville is the place.
SW: What type of player does Louisville look for? Is there anything specific your program is looking for?
AQ: I think what really distinguishes players is…well athletically, I think that’s something you can work on, I think that curve is pretty set. You can only reach your potential athletically. So first and foremost, I look for a kid that’s athletic. And secondly, do they have that athleticism and technical ability? If you have both, you know, that’s a big time set [of skills]. But if they have the potential to get better technically, on top of that athleticism, that’s something I watch for. And with that being said, I watch their attitude. Are they tuned into the game? Are they working hard? Do they strictly just rely on their athleticism?
SW: Finally, as far as you’ve seen, what’s the toughest adjustment to make for incoming freshmen deciding to play Division I soccer?
AQ: The toughest adjustment, I’d say, is the speed of the game. I think a lot of times girls are used to being the best player on their team, the fastest player on their team. They come in as 18 year olds, but there are seniors that have been in programs for three years. [Those current college players] have matured and are big and strong. The [incoming freshmen] have to kind of find another way to distinguish themselves, and sometimes that is the hardest transition.